if the shoe fits

Shoes and boots and slippers. (Oh my.) This week’s Themed Things Thursday is all about footwear. Try these on for size.

  1. The old woman who lived in a shoe
    A nursery rhyme. I hadn’t remembered the abusive turn:

    There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread,
She whipped them all soundly, and put them to bed.

    (Someone’s written up a less harsh version, too.)

  2. to walk in someone else’s shoes
    walk in my shoes
    walk a mile in another’s shoes
    walk a mile in another man’s mocassins
    walk a kilometer in another kid’s bunny slippers
    (or maybe not)

These expressions suggest that we should not pass judgment on another’s actions without having lived through the same experiences. Among other things, the Depeche Mode song “Walking in my shoes” is inspired by this. (video)

  3. Blue Suede Shoes
    Don’t step on them. Walked in and passed down by many different singers, including Elvis.
  4. The Quick-Quick Slow Death
    This episode of the Avengers features a cobbler who makes shoes for a dance school, and who really wants to make a pair of shoes for Emma Peel’s perfect feet.
  5. The Twelve Dancing Princesses
    A fairytale about 12 princesses who would sneak out of their locked sleeping chamber at night, and wear down their slippers every night dancing.
  6. The Red Shoes
    A fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. A cautionary tale with some red shoes that won’t let the wearer stop dancing.
  7. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)
    A movie about a man (Tom Hanks) whose single red shoe drew the attention of the FBI.
  8. Cinderella
    Many versions of this tale feature a special slipper which was used to identify the woman (who left in a hurry with only one shoe) after charming the prince at his ball. Often a glass slipper, potentially based on the version by Perrault, it was sometimes also described as a golden slipper. (It is not generally described as a bunny slipper.)
  9. rubyslippers1.jpg

  10. The Wizard of Oz
The movie features Dorothy’s iconic ruby slippers, taken from the feet of the witch squished by Dorothy’s house. The original book by L. Frank Baum featured silver slippers. Wicked, Gregory Maguire’s take on the tale, compromised between the two by having the slippers be of an indeterminate shiny color.
  11. These boots are made for walkin’, by Nancy Sinatra.

    These boots are made for walking,
    and that’s just what they’ll do
    One of these days these boots
    are gonna walk all over you

  12. Seven-league boots
    Magic boots that are featured in various fairy and folk tales that allow the wearer to travel great distances with each step. (Those boots were made for some serious walking.)
  13. Kinky Boots
    A movie about a shoe factory owner who tries to find a new niche by making shoes and boots for transvestites. His inspiration, a singer named Lola, is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, known to me better as the relentless agent from Serenity.
  14. They Died With Their Boots On (1941)
    A movie about Custer’s last stand. Haven’t seen it. Probably doesn’t actually feature a lot about boots.
  15. Imelda Marcos
    The former first lady of the Philippines was well known for her extravagantly large collection of shoes. Over a thousand pairs. Imelda’s shoes can apparently now be seen in a shoe museum.
  16. In these shoes, by Kirsty MacColl intheseshoes.jpg

    I once met a man
    with a sense of adventure
    He was dressed to thrill
    wherever he went
    He said “Let’s make love
    on a mountain top
    Under the stars
    on a big hard rock”
    I said “In these shoes?
    I don’t think so”
    I said “Honey,
    let’s do it here.”

7 thoughts on “if the shoe fits

  1. In some versions of the Cinderella story, the stepsisters consider cutting off their toes to get their feet to fit inside the glass slipper. You’d think that’d be noticeable. And messy.

  2. Sage-
    In some versions, they do actually cut off parts of their feet. And in fact the noticeable messiness seems to have been a plot point (assuming I can trust the Wikipedia article):

    In the German telling, the first stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off a toe, but the doves in the hazel tree alert the prince to the blood dripping from the slipper, and he returns the false bride to her mother. The second stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off her heel, but the same doves give her away.

    More licorice can be found on the kitchen counter.

  3. Makes sense. I’ve seen old versions of many German “morality tales” that I think would have left any child cowering in a corner for the remainder of their time at home. Did you know that rocking back in your chair could lead to your untimely death? Shudder.

  4. Don’t forget that Depeche Mode song, “Walking In My Shoes.”

    “Now Im not looking for absolution
    Forgiveness for the things I do
    But before you come to any conclusions
    Try walking in my shoes
    Try walking in my shoes

    Youll stumble in my footsteps
    Keep the same appointments I kept
    If you try walking in my shoes”

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